After playing to a 7-7 draw after the first half of its homecoming game against Durango on Friday, Foothill coach Marty Redmond felt like his team was suffering from a bit of a homecoming hangover.
Fortunately for the Falcons, their defense and quarterback proved enough to cure what ailed them.
Koy Riggin tossed a pair of second-half touchdown passes, while Foothill’s defense shut down the Trailblazers’ offense to help the No. 7-ranked Falcons stave off upset-minded Durango, 20-7.
Redmond, whose team only managed 76 yards in the first half, said his team let activities of homecoming week take away their edge.
“We just came out flat and it showed. I just think with homecoming sometimes it brings a lot of distractions to kids,“ he said. “I just don’t think we played very well in the first half on either side of the ball. We made a couple of small adjustments, and they played better in the second half.”
Foothill (3-0) didn’t take the lead for good until Riggin connected with Jordan Wilson on a screen at the 14-yard screen pass for a touchdown with 1:58 left in the third quarter.
Riggin added a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Blakely with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter.
Falcons middle linebacker Mateo Monterde, who stepped in front of a Durango pass and snared an interception with 10:34 left in the game, said the defense was upset with the points Durango scored in the first half.
“Points are bad to us. Even seven is bad. We want shutouts,” he said. “In the second half, our defensive coaches got us together and got us hyped up and ready to play.”
Against Durango, defense set up the opening score of the game when Ezekiel Mareko recovered a Durango fumble at the Blazer 27-yard line with 6:09 left in the first quarter. Five plays later, Riggin scampered 17 yards up the middle on a quarterback keeper to make it 7-0 with 4:13 left in the period.
But Durango (0-3) answered on the ensuing 14-play, 71-yard drive. Kaden Renshaw connected with Michal Jackson on a 10-pass on a slant pattern to tie the game at 7-7. The score was set up by a 39-yard Renshaw-to-Jackson bomb down the right sideline three plays earlier.
Renshaw threw for 148 yards to lead Durango
“Durango has a couple of really good kids on their football team. You have to give those guys credit,” said Redmond. “They play hard and pretty physical, and they have some kids that are pretty talented over there.”